Request to withdraw the registration of neurotoxic pesticides in CanadaPetition: No. 268
Issue(s): Compliance and enforcement, human health/environmental health, pesticides, and toxic substances
Petitioner(s): Ann V. Kuczerpa
Date Received: 28 October 2008
Summary: The petitioner is concerned about the possible neurological health effects of pesticides and requests that the federal government withdraw the registration of neurotoxic pesticides. The petitioner cites many scientific studies that, according to the petitioner, show neurotoxic pesticides to be harmful.
Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada, Department of Justice Canada
COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
asking for the removal of all neurotoxic pesticides that cause irreversible neurological injuries and death now having reached epidemic levels, compliance with national and international la laws, Charters, Conventions and Declarations on Human Rights, And related matters.
[Original signed by Ann V. Kuczerpa]
Ann V. Kuczerpa
206-2100 Cadboro Bay Rd.
Victoria B.C V8R 5G7
October 6, 2008
THIS PETITION is concerned with pesticides, and primarily neurological illnesses amongst which are Alzheimers dementia, motor neuropathies, multiple sclerosis, autism and other learning disabilities in children, Parkisons, elevated blood pressure, cardiac arrythmias, cardiac myopathies, indeed most illnesses caused by loss of nerve function. It is also concerned with allergies, osteoperosis, autoimmune diseases, cancers, birth of physically and mentally abnormal children.
I, the petitioner, plead that legislators address the problems linked to the use of neurotoxins for pesticidal use, the laws respecting them, economic impact on nations, the physical, psychological, social and financial impact on the victims, their families, future generations and friends.
I ask the Ministers of Health, the Environment, of Agriculture, and of Justice to address the crises predicted and warned of by some of the most eminent pesticide neurotoxicologists for decades, in the ability of ordinary citizens to protect their lives and those of their families. I ask the Ministers 'Who should pay?' mindful that no amount of money could possibly compensate them for their injuries and endeavor to answer that question. Becasue of the global nature of the problem, I ask that the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the U.N. be asked to resolve the questions of law.
This petition holads that the laws of toxic torts demand that any legislative division in respect of pesticides between Federal and Provincial governments must be resolved in favor of both being responsible for ensuring there are pesticides toxicologists available to diagnose and treat poisonings, that a system of monitorins human health and environmental impacts be in place before any chemical or preparation thereof is allowed
In support of this petition, I submit a review of the science and the law in *attachments 1-6. In *1 and 2, I a victim of such poisoning describe the cruel reality of victim os such poisoning is forced to deal with from the medical community, the Federal and Provinical government authorities and even from the legal community in a effort to preserve their health.
I ask the Ministers when they respond to the questions I ask and requests I make in this petition that they consider the scientific evidence and opinions of some of the most eminent pesticide neurotoxicologists known which I cite and quote, the law to which I refer, and the traumatic plight I suffered in trying to get help after suffering injuries consistent with pesticide poisoning on no account of my own on two occasions so traumatic that I could never seek help again regardless of how severe pesticide poisoning I may suffer, nor could I counsel anyone else to do so.
The VEGETABLE PRODUCTION GUIDE FOR Commercial Growers 1989 prepared by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Agriculture Canada and the VEGETABLE PRODUCTION GUIDE 1993,
states POISON CONTROL CENTRES
Poison Control Centres are open 24 hours a day. They give first aid information and treatments for poisoning.
I ask of the Minister of Agriculture, and Justice where relevant,
1. a. Did anyone ascertain the truth of that statement before publishing it?
b. How is an unsuspecting what is ordinarily referred to as 'bystander' to know that the illness they suffer is pesticide poisoning?
c. where can they go to get help, if help is possible where can they go to get help, if help is possible?
d. Whose duty is it in the opinion of the Ministers of Agriculture and of Justice to inform the victim that help is impossible?
e. And in the opinion of both Ministers duty is it to see that such chemicals are not allowed for pesticidal use?
f. Whose duty is it to ensure that pesticide neurotoxicologists would be available to treat and diagnose pesticide poisoning before any chemical or preparation thereof was approved for pesticidal use?
g. Is it not true that the Minstery of Agriculture, of Health and of the Environment knew that some of the chemicals and preparations thereof were so dangerous and the consequences of exposure so irreversible that their use would differ little from war crimes, that Pesticide neurotoxicologists were warning they were so dangerous no level of exposure was without risk of harm? And yet continue to register such chemicals? Why? Could it be no diagnoses, not poisoning therefor one of the safest regulatory systems in the world?
h. What is the purpose of sending the R.C.M.P. onto a victim of pesticide poisoning, suffering greatly seeking help and desperately trying to prevent others from suffering the same and consequences thereof?
Section 16(1) of the Pest Control Products Act 2002 c. 28 reads,
The Minister shall initiate a special review of the registration of a pest control product if the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the health or enviornmental risks of the product are … unacceptable.
2. I ask how can a Minister decide when as I describe in *Book 1, the “hell” I went through to try get help after suffering what could only have been poisoning by a delayed neurotoxin in 1986 from which I only partially recovered, suffering often great neurological pains, slowed ability to walk and much more, then again on exposure to Weedex in 2006, again after months from which I only partially recovered, no diagnostic services are available, the medical profession is illiterate about pesticide toxicology, and will not even consider scientific publications in respect to the symptoms and risks of harm from exposure to such chemicals, nor will provincial authorities, no records are kept. What are his beliefs to be based upon? And what competence does the Minister have to evaluate the copious scientific literature which has piled up for decades since the introduction of such chemicals?
Before World War II Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's, motor neuropathy of the type wrongly labelled ALS, autism were almost unheard of, after the introduction of the chemicals related to war gases, these neurotoxic illness have sky-rocketed along with the use of such chemicals for pesticidal use. It is perhaps important to note that both Ontario and British Columbia fruit growers were able to provide Canadians with high quality fruits and vegetables. Golf was played on non pesticide treated lawns, Public and home landscapes of fine quality existed everywhere.
Section 21(2) reads,
If the Minister does not consider that the health of environmental risks or value of a pest control product are acceptable, the Minister shall
(a) amend the registration if the Minister considers that the health and environmental risks and value of the control product would be acceptable after the amendment or
(b) cancel the registration.
That section is almost always interpreted to mean all pesticides registered for use, if use according to directions means that no consent is required from those who might be exposed if so used, and all persons within any area may apply such pestcides eg a municipality may carry out mosquito spraying with malathion, a potent potentiator of the toxicity of many pesticides and those in the path of the spray may apply whatever pesticide the Minister approved for use, if applied according to instructions. Muncipalities such as those in which I live wanting to pass laws forbidding the use of pesticides, grapple with the legal problem, wanting to get any laws they pass "right". The usual interpretation is that there are no exception to the legal right to expose even those who suffer severe neurotoxic illness, if pesticides are applied as registered.
The statement in Sec 21(2)(a) assumes that the Minister has a paternalistic right to decide for persons who might suffer exposure that compromizes their 'security of person' and what risks they must take. I ask of the Ministers,
3. a. Do the laws of toxic torts allow the Minister to do so, and if not is that section of the Act valid?
b. In the light of Canada's harmonization of its pesticide policies and implimination of them with those of the U.S. EPA to what extent is Canada now bound by the United States laws of toxic torts and its definition of 'unreasonably dangerous substances and activities?
It is generally accepted that a fiduciary owes the highest duty of care to his beneficiaries, and is forbidden to seek benefits for anyone except them.
4. To whom does the Minister of Health owe the highest duty of care in respect to the registration of pesticides, and all that the laws of toxic torts demand by allowing them on the market?
In responding to this question please note that tortious laws cannot be passed except in national emergencies such as armed conflict, and analyze the Pest Control Products Act and regulations made pursuant to it possible sanctioning the commission of toxic torts.
A fiduciary owes the highest duty of care to his beneficiaries, and is forbidden to seek benefits for anyone except them.
Shrank, "Determinism and the Law of Consent – A Reformulation of Individual Accountability for Choices made without "Free Will"." Suff. U. Law Rev. Xll 796-827, 804.
In a fiduciary relationship consent may not be given on behalf of one with whom one has a fiduciary relationship except in the case of minors and those not in a capacity to give informed consent. I cite,
Canterbury v. Spence 474 F 2d 772-787, 772
Neuremburg Code in Bassiouni et al. 1608 -1609 "An Appraisal of Human Experimentation in International Law and Practice….” J. Crim. Law Criminol. (1981) 74(2) 1597 -1657
Helsinki Declarations in Bassiouni et al. 1609 – 1611 Supra.
The difference between human experimentation and what is taking place in regard to pesticides is that in human experimentation records are kept of all effects, in pesticide exposure no records are kept of adverse effects or even of exposures.
Flemming, LAW OF TORTS 4th ed. (1971) 555
Dickens, "Information for Consent in Human Experimentation" 24 U. of T.L.J. 381 – 401, 388.
4. Are we to conclude from what law requires and the failure of legislators in passing the Pest Control Products Act, Regulations made pursuant to it and/or their applicators hold all residents of Canada do not have the to give informed consent and therefore make the decisions for them allowing the pesticides to be applied without their consent or even being informed that pesticides are to be applied or worse not disclosing that they have been applied after the fact or what was applied and when? Or are we to conclude something more sinister is involved? Please explain your answer.
A consumer has the right to determine whether he wants to take a risk in order to enjoy promised benefits.
Borel v. Fibreboard Products Corp. 493 F 2d 1089
Canterbury v. Spense 464 F 2d 772 – 787
Freund, "Ethical Problems in Human Experimentation" New Eng. J. Med. (1965) 688 – 688, 688.
Cahn, “Drug Experiments and Public Conscience" in J. Katz, EXPERIMENTATION WITH HUMAN BEINGS Russell Sage Foundation (1972) 184
5. a. In regard to injuries or potential injuries due to pesticide exposure, I ask the Minister of Health, of the Environment, of Agriculture and of Justice to whom do you owe a fiduciary duty to?
b. To whom do the officials of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency owe a fiduciary duty to?
c. i. To whom do the officials of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency owe fiduciary duties would you describe their extent?
ii. Is ignoring pleas for help when a person has suffered what could only have been pesticide poisoning acceptable on the part of the Agency or anyone else?
iii. When there is evidence that the chemical was approved for pesticidal use, and irreversible injuries were suffered due to exposure to it beyond that persons control, is it reasonable to remove a petition seeking a review of the chemical or preparation of such chemicals from a special review status to a status of continuing review whenever that should take place, rather than treat it with urgency as the law requires?
Attached to 'unreasonably dangerous substances' is a strict 'duty to warn' those who might suffer exposure from those in control of such substances.
Restatement of 2nd Tort (1965)
Green, "Strict Liability under Section 401A and 402B – A Decade of Litigation" (1976) 54 Texas L. Rev. 1185 – 1219
Lambert et al. v. Lastoplex Chemicals Co. et al. 24 DLR 3d 121 – 126.
Luberda, "The Duty to Warn" in SAFETY PRODUCT LIABILITY, Technomic Corp.
Assoc. of Trial Lawyers of America, INDUSTRIAL AND TOXIC TORTS – Transcripts of Proceedings, Nov. 9, 1979, 78 – 79.
Karjala v. Johns Mansville Products Corp. (1975) F 2d 1076 – 1109.
Stone v. Smith, Kline & French Laboratories 447 So 2d 1301 – 1305.
There is no evidence that in the United States disclosure of toxicity studies or adverse effects results in financial losses to chemical companies and there is no reason to conclude in Canada the consequences would be different unless they revealed gross deficiencies is assessing risks of harm. In any case the laws of toxic torts do not allow concealment and impose a strict duty to disclose and warn. That in my experience is exactly opposite to the policies and application of them by the P.M.R.A.
6. I ask that the Minister of Health compell the P.M.R. A. to comply with the laws of toxic torts for tortious legislation cannot be written into law, nor any company's financial interests above anyones right to health and life.
McGarity & Shapiro, "The Trade Secret Status of Health and Safety Testing Information…Har. L. Rev. (1980) 851 – 856.
Rheingold, "The MER/29 Story" 117 – 128/ Keeton "[The] Aftermath of MER/29" 149 – 159.
Consent requires the duty to disclose "All known facts and probabilities" The duty is even greater when there is no medical justification for exposing anyone to 'unreasonably dangerous substances, A greater duty is required of anyone who sets themselves up as an expert or is so set up from one that is not. The Minister and the P.M.R.A. set themselves up as experts. While in asking that all neurotoxic pesticides be banned and this under such circumstances may seem irrelevant those who suffered injuries have a right to know and be so informed in order to avoid further injuries or whatever action they chose.
McCaffrey v. Hague (1949) 2 WWR 539 – 544.
Rex v. Bateman (1925) TLR 557 – 560.
Haluska v. Univ. of Sask. et al.  53 DLR 2d 436 – 446.
The amount of disclosure is not soley for the one from whomc consent is sought to determine. If a potential risker want more information, it must be given
Smith v. Auckland Hospital Board  N.Z.L.R. 191 – 193, 226 – 227
That decision is now widely accepted by nations whose laws are based on British jurisprudence. Not so in my experience by Health Canada's P.M.R.A. and its predecessor.
The duty to warn exists from the time unreasonably dangerous substances are placed on the market or become so situated by those in control that exposure of others may result. I ask of the Ministers,
7. a. Who all are in control of the neurotoxic pesticides and those which cause cancers?
b. Whose duty is it to warn and provide all the information needed and 'as much more that they want to know when such chemicals are allowed to be put in the control of others be they sellers or potential users?
c. Whose duty is it to make sure the potential buyer and/or user is fully capable of appreciating the risks of harm to all who might be exposed?
d. If there are no such duties and/or they cannot be inforced I ask that it be done.
The commission of a toxic tort cannot justify the commission of a continuing communicative tort, or indeed any other tort.
Tampa Drag Co. v. Wait (1953) 103 So 2d 603 – 611
Sohenebeck v. Sterling Drug Inc. (1970) 423 F 2d 919 – 925
When there is a profit motive strict liability is usually invoked for injuries due to 'unreasonably dangerous substances', therefore the inference can be made that the 'duty to warn' and the 'right to know' increases.
Hale v. Jennings Bros  All E.R. 579 -586, 585
The 'duty to warn' on the part of those in control of 'unreasonably dangerous substances' continues regardless of how low the exposure may be and how small the risk.
Davies v. Wyeth Laboratories (1968) 399 F 2d 121 – 132.
8. Surely there is a strong profit motive in the production, and sale of pesticide, and therefore a duty to see that warnings are there that there are serious risk to those who may be exposed of developing the illness referred to in *attacment 1 of my petition. The question is 'whose duty to warn? and see that the warning is there. And because such chemical have been put on the market, that duty extends to alerting health care workers and members of the public of those risks. I ask that it be done immediately. It is irrevelant how much it cost to develop a pesticide.
9. I submitted an 'open' letter to the Prime Minister and his cabinet respecting these matters asking who should pay without receiving an acknowledgment, a copy of which is included in the *attachments o this petition, and an analyses of the law. I ask the Minister of Health and of Justice to respond to them, please include all costs including those that are almost always externalized, which are probably most to the present and future generations and the environment.
10. Keeton, "Conditional Fault in the Law of Torts" Har. L. Rev. (1959) 401 – 432, @ 427 held, that one has no right to engage in activities in which the risk is not borne by those who profit by such activities, which I believe means a person asked to take the risk, in the case of pesticides the usual case is the risks are inflicted on the unsuspecting, has a right to discover what they are and who shall profit by them. Is there any reason why these principles of law should not apply to Canada, including dicovery from Canada's regulators?
Linden, CANADIAN TORT LAWS (1982) 523 – 528 held that the Courts usually invoke strict liability in cases of injury caused by unreasonably dangerous substances when there is no consent, no default on the part of plaintiff, no deliberate act of a third party, and the injury is not due to an act of God. Surely chemicals which cause irreversible and which pesticide toxicologist warn no level of exposure is without risk of harm are unreasonably dangerous. This together with the legal authorites and the discussions in the *attachments I submit to this petition should help you answer, "Who should pay?"
The correct interpretation of law would therefore seem to be that although the Minister may register chemicals and preparations thereof that pose risks to the security of persons and cause suffering, consent to possible exposure must be sought by those intending to use them. And, municipalities have a right like provincial and territorial governments may pass laws forbidding their use within their jurisdictions. No one is allowed to commit a toxic tort or give consent for others to do so. People have a right to protect themselve and their environment from injuries.
11.I ask therefore that the Ministers have the issues of law resolved by the Supreme Court of Canada which muncipalities face when trying to ban the chemicals and preparations thereof for pesticidal use on public and private land within their jurisdiction i.e. prevent them from committing toxic torts allowed by Health Canada and its regulatory Aqency. It seems to me the duty to disclose the risk of harm to municipal authorities is no less than to private citizens.
The chemicals referred to in this petition were designed to inflict similar injuries to chemical weapons of war. The Neurenberg court put a strict duty on nations to monitor human rights violations. I ask of the Minsters
12. a. Has any consideration been given in passing into law the Pest Control Products Act 2002, the regulations made pursuant to it, and their implimentaion that there may be conflicts with human rights such as when such chemicals are used for military purposes?
b. Was there ever any consideration of duties to monitor before such legislation, regulations made pursuant to it, and after their implimentaion?
c. If not, will you do so, and undertake monitoring pesticide use and injuries to human life, and the environment together with unconsented exposure, mindful that no one can consent to inflicting injuries such as referred to herein.
Tassé, J. "Application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and. Freedoms" in THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, 2nd ed. Toronto, Carswell, 1989, @ p. 72 (ii), reads
@ p. 70,
13. a. Is Tassé correct or incorrect?
b. If he is correct, I ask the Ministers of Health, and of Justice to abide by that interpretation in the administration of the Pest Control Product Act 2002 c28. If in any doubt ask the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on the offending sections of the Act, Regulations made pursuant to it and their implimentation in the light of the Charter, and the International Covenants referred to herein.
c. Since most of the chemicals referred to herein are related to chemical warfare agents, designed to injure in the same or much the same way, I ask to that the High Commissioner on Human Rights of the United Nations be asked to decide the issues of law since the problem is not almost world wide. These issues of law take on urgent international importance at a time when there is increasing corporate colonization when corporations are taking over massive tracts of land for food and biofuel production which cannot be managed except by an enormous reliance on pesticides, resulting in the destruction of the productivity of soils and an enormous loss in biodiversity as now being witnesed.
In Thomas v. Winchester 6 N.Y. 397, 57 Am. Dec. 455 (1852) the Court held,
Every man who by his cupable negligence causes the death of another, although without intent to kill, is guilty of manslaughter. So highly does the law value human life, that it admits no justification whereever a life has been lost, and the carelessness or negligence of one person contributed to the death of another. citing Regina V. Swindall 2 Car. & Kir. 222, 233.
Principle 13 of the RIO DECLARATIONS ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, June 3 – 14, 1992 held,
States shall develop national laws regarding liability and compensation for victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall alos co-operate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control beyond their jurisdiction.
Principle 10 states,
Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevatn level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information on harardous materials and activities in theri communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation in maing information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy shall be provided.
Wade MacLauchlin, A LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE CANADIAN PESTICIDE REGISTRATION PROCESS, Pesticide Management Advisory Board, 1986, stated @ p. 42,
[Of] particular significance in the context of the P.C. P.A., while the property interests of corporations such as the holder of a pesticides registration is probably not protected by section 7 [of the Canadian Charter of Rights], the health interests of the public may well be …What is raided by section 7 jurisprudence interpreting "life, liberty and security of the person" is the possibility that the Minister may be found to have constitutional obligations to accord with the principles of fundamental justice, not to the registrants of pesticide products, but to the citizens whose interest is based upon environmental or health concerns rather than upon commercial interests. It is implicit in the decision of the Ontario Divisional Court in Mancom (supra) that a claimed risk to health would at least have gotten beyond a preliminary motion to quash. In the Operation Dismantle decision [(1985) D.L.R. (4th) 481,  1 S.C.R. 441, 59 N.R. 1], the Supreme Court impliedly accepted that a risk to health, if proven, would constitute a deprivation of security of the person.
In Colvin v. F.M.C. Corp. 604 P 2d 157
The plaintiff sought damages under breach of warrenty for injury by an insecticide sold to her employer who regularly used the insecticide to control miscellaneous insects in the plant where she was employed. The defendant argued rhat the plaintiff did not have a cause of action under warrenty because the action was in substance one of strict liability, and could not be otherwise characterized, in keeping with Dowell v. Mossberg 355 P 2d 541 (1965) and later holding that the dominant characteristic of an action is determinative of the actions nature. In injuries and death due to poisons strict liability is usually imposed.
@ p. 162,
If a product will foreseeably come in contact with persons other than the direct purchaser and, if, because it is not as warrented, it causes physical injury to such persons, there is no less reason for permitting the injured person to seek recovery on a warrenty theory against the manufacturer or seller who have warrenty than to proceed under Section 402 A. For example, the manufacturer of the insecticide in this case could well have foreseen that persons other than the purchaser would be exposed to the product which was allegedly warrented to be safe for the use in the purchaser's plant, and those persons could be injured if the product were not safe when so used.
In Ellis v. Home Office  2 Q.B. 135 @ p. 147, Morris L.J. laid down a commandment to the Courts when he stated,
When considering the public interest, and when considering what might be "injurious to the public interest" it seems to me that it is to be remembered that one facet of the public interest is that justice should always be done and seen to be done.
In Lambert & Olliot v. Bessy [1660 – 1684] K.B. Raym. Sir T. 422, the judgement of the Court was,
@ p. 423,
[T]hough a man doth a lawful thing, yet if any damage do hereby befall another, he shall answer it, if he could have avoided it. As if a man doth lop a tree and the boughs fall upon another ipso invito, yet an action lies…If a man assaults me, and I lift my staff to defend myself, and in lifting it up hit another, an action lies by the person, and yet I did a lawful thing. And, the reason for all these cases is, because he that is damaged ought to be recompensed.
14.I ask the Ministers to uphold these sound principles of law.
Costa, "Interactions of insecticides with the nervous system" TOXICOLOGY OF PESTICIDES, EXPERIMENTAL, CLINICAL AND REGULATORY PERSPECTIVES, Costa, Galli and Murphy ed. Springer Verlag, 1986 wrote, 22 years ago,
Another subject of recurrent concern is the effects of exposure during pre- and post natal periods. While OPs are generally considered teratogens, prenatal exposure to low doses at which no maternal toxicity is apparent have shown various behavioral effects on pups. These include impairment of neuromuscular strength, delayed behavior, learning and locomotor activity….
And scientific papers published to that effect, example,
Bartus et al. "Cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction" Science” 217 P, pp 408 – 417, 1982 wrote,
Mendoza, "Toxicity and effects of malathion on esterases of suckling albino rats" Toxicol. appl. Pharmacol. 35: 329-328, 1976 reported that suckling albino rats have a reduced ability to produce liver esterases (which are known to at least partly detoxify some pesticides) This combined with increased vulnerability of females to poisoning by at least some pesticides may be of profound importance in explaining defects which develop before birth and afer including neurological of which there now many.
G.S. Omenn, "The role of genetic differences in human susceptibility to pesticides” in TOXICOLOGY OF PESTICIDES, EXPERIMENTAL, CLINICAL AND REGULATORY PERSPECTIVES, Springer-Verlag, 1986 wrote,
During informal discussions at this meeting collegues from Denmark, Italy and China reinforced my impression that there may be many workers with chronically depressed AChE levels potentially at risk from later cognitive deficits.
That surely is true of the unborn and the young. Genes are damaged by pesticides.
Cambon, DeClune and Derache, "Effect of insecticidal carbonate derivatives (carbofuran primicarb, aldicarb) on activity of AChE in tissues of pregnant rats and fetuses" Toxicol. appl. Pharmacol. 2: 320 – 328 (1978) reported that animals suffered neurological injuries when exposed to carbamate pesticides even before birth, that neurotoxic pesticides can produce long term as well as short term memory loss has been irrefutably establised. The site of injury, or at least one, has been found. Pesticide neurotoxicologists have been warning since at least the mid-1970's that seemingly insignificant exposure to neurotoxic pesticides produce virtually undetectable symptoms that can build up to cause dementia and other neurological deficits later in life. Age related deficits may be and probably are those sort of cumulative injuries. These are injuries almost unheard of before the introduction of synthetic nerve poisons after World War II which now have reached epidemic levels.
Please note that while a site of injury in the brain in autism has been identified, many sites may be affected Biochemical lesions often occur long before pathological ones can be identified.
Note: That dementia and other neurotoxic illnesses predated the Introduction of synthetic pesticides is not a disproval of the causal connection. Neurotoxins occur widely in plant, insect and some animal life used in their battle to preserve territories, food supply and their lives. The toxins in the seeds of the cycad plant used for food during the war in Quam is one such plant, causing dementia, Parkinsonism, motor neuropathy and Hunting like symptoms. The toxins could be leached out if properly done. Nevertheless the government banned the use of the plant for food, and the Quam 'disease' slowly disappeared. So too, probably would in time the now epidemic of neurotoxic illnesses if the pesticides producing them were banned, mindful there is no way to reverse the injuries, but is to prevent further injuries.
Garruto et al. Disappearance of high incidence of amyotropic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia in Guam. Neurol. 36: 1 – 13, 1986
These publications were a very clear warning that the begining of the illnesses I refer to in *attachment # 1 were caused by neurotoxins being released into the environment that should have set alarm bells ringing. Nothing was done or being done about it. The epidemic, possibly the greatest ever inflicted on mankind, has reached levels that can cripple governments ability to cope with it for the foreseeable future.
15.Why has Health Canada been ignoring these studies for decades, and even now in the face of an epidemic of neurotoxic illness affecting all ages? And if you have contrary evidence, please produce it.
Even if the neurotoxic chemicals were removed off the market, the pollution is so great it would probably take years before the risks of harm were totally abated.
The VEGETABLE PRODUCTION GUIDE 188.8.131.52. produced by the B.C. Ministery of Agriculture and Agriculture Canada asks that aldicarb (Temik) not be used on Vancouver Island presumably because of the acidity of the soil. It depreses acetylcholinesterase of the blood for only a few hours we are told. This does not necessarily mean at nerve endings nor access the neurological injuries it can produce Normal blood acetylcholinesterases do not necessarily mean anything but low activites probably mean neurological injuries are taking place. The German Democratic Republic reported that it was a delayed neurotoxin noted in 1990 in the International Register of Potentially toxic Chemicals of the U.N. Pesticide neurotoxicologists warn that no level of exposure to delayed neurotoxins is without risk of harm.
16.A delayed neurotoxicity study on it, entitled, "TEMIK (technical Grade Compound 21149 Demyelination Potential in Chickens" was submitted by Union Carbide presumably produced by Hellon Institute. Demyelination occurs in multiple sclerosis. I sought access to that study from Agriculture Canada some time in 1988 – 1989. The owners of the study did not object toe the release of the study to me. Agriculture Canada refused to rlease it to me. I ask the Minister of Agriculture
b. Was there something in it the Minister knew if exposed could lead to actions against the Crown?
c. Do not the laws of toxic torts give the public the right to know and try discover the cause of their injuries.
d. And when injuries occur for which there is sound reason to suspect are caused by chemicals in the power and control of the Minister is he not duty bound to help discover the cause of those injuries?
The U.S. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly 28: 133-135, 1979 reported people consuming 6.7 – 10.7 mg/kg were poisoned by it on eating about 60 grams of cucumber which is about 1/4 od one. Poisoned here presumably developed symptoms of poisoning that were severe. Aldicarb poisoning was reported on eating cucumber and watermelons in Vancouver and in California. Residues have been found in potatoes in the U.S. and in Canada. In one outbreak of aldicarb poisoning in watermelon the intake was estimated to be between 0.0011 – 0.0048 mg/kg of body weight i.e. it essentially has no margin of safety even in supposedly persons with fully intact nervous system if any such persons exist in the developed world and those nations where corporations have taken over agriculture. Goldman et al. "Aldicarb Food Poisoning in California, 1985 – 1988, "Toxicity Estimates for Humans" Arch. Environ. Health 45(3) 141 – 147, 1990 say,
And, they note that illness may be caused by eating of produce contaminated with levels of aldicarb which are below the detection limits of the assay procedures set by regulatory agencies.
M. L. Mink, "The environmental dynamic of Carbamate insecticide Carbamate insecticide aldicarb in soils and water" Environ. Polltion 61: 127 – 155, 1989 say that,
aldicarb is oxidized in the soil to the sulfoxide. and the sulfoxide more slowly to the sulfone which has a 1/2 life of 560 days at pH 6, few minutes @ pH 12 (most soils in Canada are slightly acidic and most fruits. Toxicity usually increases from the parent compound to the sulfone to the sulfoxide)
PESTICIDES IN CANADA, Law Reform Commission in footnote 298, p. 52 say 25% of ground water in P.E.I. was found contaminated with Thimik)
The IRPTC OF THE UNEP entry for Belize reads
@ p. 17-2,
ALDICARB IS A PROHIBITED PESTICIDE. IT SHALL NOT BE BROUGHT INTO OR USED IN BELIZE. ITS POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PLANTS, ANIMALS OR HUMAN BEINGS ARE CONSIDERED TOO DANGEROUS TO JUSTIFY ITS USE. PESTICIDES CONTROL 32, 87, 1985.
@ p. 17-4, Entry for the U.S.S.R,
PROHIBITED FOR USE AS A PESTICIDE. REASON FOR CONTROL
ACTION: HIGHLY TOXIC
ORDER OF THE USSR MINISTRY OF HEALTH, – 23 MCH, 1986.
@ p. 17-2, the entry for Canada @ p. 17-2,
LEVELS SET ACCORDING TO GUIDELINES FOR CANADIAN DRINKING
WATER QUALITY – 1987.
MAXIMUM ACCEPTABLE CONCENTRATION
(MAC) = 0.009 MG/L
FORMULATIONS CONTAINING THIS ACTIVE INGREDIENT ARE APPROVED FOR RESTRICTED/MANUFACTURING USE AS ACARICIDE (MITE CONTROL); INSECTICIDE; NEMATICIDE… .
In 1987 Aldicarb was found in Ontario potatoes.
There is virtually no margin of safety for aldicarb for even persons who presumably have fully intact nervous systems as deduced from animal studies which means that the very young with little capacity to detoxify and small bodies are especally vulnerable to suffering serious injury. Even the slightest miscalculation by regulatory authorities and producers using it could have profound consequences for some and probably has. And although there is no direct evidence that children exposed to aldicarb develop autism as a result, it is safe to presume that all chemicals which cause similar or identical injuries do so, imposing an a duty of extreme care. There is a principle of law of being jointly and severally responsible.
17.What evidence does Canada have
a. that aldicarb can be used safely when the former U.S.S.R. and Belize concluded otherwise;
b. and azinophosmethyl banned in India, Bangladish, the U.S.S.R. followed by Russia;
c. demeton banned by Germany, Hungary, Belize;
d. disulfoton, banned by the U.S.S.R., Hungary, Belize, Bangladish, India, Zimbabwe;
e. phorate, banned by Malaysia, Panama, Belize?
18. And why according to the VEGETABLE PRODUCTION GUIDE FOR COMMERCIAL GROWERS prepared by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture Canada allow metamidophos, a delayed neurotoxin, to be sprayed from aircraft and the Brassica on which it is applied to be sold 7 days after application and warns that the refuse should not be fed to birds, when human beings are up to a hundred times more sensitive to the irreversible neurological consequences of exposure to it? Could it be that by 1987, Chevron the owners of its patent rights contributed $10,000 to his election campaign?
19. Why according to the above guide is endosulfan, an extremely toxic pesticide allowed to be applied to tomatoes 2 days before harvest when Belize will not even allow its importation into the country? And why do tomatoes have to be treated with pesticides 2 days before harvest?
In 2006 – 2007 great concern was reported in the media of a possible link between illness in Canada's maritime potato production area and the use of chlorothalonil. The possibility that those illnesses are linked to the use of aldicarb or a combination of both seems not to have been investigated by Health and Agriculture Canada. I ask the Ministers,
20. Do not the laws of toxic torts and Pest Control Products Act demand at least that from you? I ask that you do so. The law does not allow you to caste a blind eye when human injuries and death occurs. Will you do so.
Reuters Life reported that 6/10 of 'baby boomers' (cited in Victoria Times Daily, July 11/2008). That most will become demented must be seriously entertained. Already it is widely believed dementia is a part of normal aging. This is extremely troubling not only of itself and the right not to be injured regardless of age, but for environmental and economic sustainability, but to Canada's security as a nation. At no time has a tragedy of this magnitude ever occured. I ask that it be halted immediately. The Leptiphos story was a clear warning that should have been heeded.
Pesticide neurotoxicologists, as I point out in *attachment # 1 to this petition warn no level of exposure to delayed neurotoxins is without risk of harm. 2,4-D and other chlorophenoxy herbicide do cause injuries which become apparent some time after exposure, and 2,4-D toxicates i.e. keeps increasing in toxicity for 2 weeks after application. Other chlorophenoxy herbicides may do so as well. I therefore ask.
21. a. that the Minister of Health immediately withdraw the registration of all neurotoxic pesticides and under no conditions allow them to be used for landscape purposes.
b. that no pesticide be registered for the production of biofuels, mindful that most are neurotoxic and there is an epidemic of neurotoxic illness, the incidence of cancers should be of grave concern and pesticides are known to be carcinogenic, and produce genetic injuries leading to birth defects, and mindful that ethanol is spontaneously converted into acetylaldenyde which is neurotoxic, it is absorbed through the skin and eyes, causes dizziness, mental confusion, headache, some symptoms of exposure have been reported on exposure to exhaust from ethanol burning motor vehicles. It is suspected of being a carcinogen in humans, known to be so in animals.
c. Because of the enormous complexities of plant defence mechanisms now being elucidated and interrelationship between all life forms, best understood by plant pathologists, other plant scientists and by environmentalists, that the regulation of pesticides be restored to include the Ministers of the Environment and of Agriculture.
22.I ask of the Minister of Health to explain in the light of my experiences and the scientific evidence referred to therein how he can achieve the following alledged in Preamble of the Pest Control Products Act 2002 c. 28,
a. WHEREAS it is in the national interest that the primary objective of the federal regulatory system be to prevent unacceptable risks to people and the environment from the use of pest control products,
b. the attainment of the objectives of the federal regulatory system continue to be pursued through a scientifically-based national registration system that addresses risks to human health and the environment both before and after registration and applies to the regulation of pest control products throughout Canada,
c. pest control products of acceptable risk be registered for use only if it is shown that their use would be efficacious and if conditions of registration can be established to prevent adverse health impact or pollution of the environment,
d. in assessing risks to humans, consideration be given to aggregate exposure to pest control products, cumulative effects of pest control products and the different sensitivities to pest control products of major identifiable subgroups, including pregnant women, infants, children, women and seniors,
e. pest control products be regulated in a manner that supports sustainable development, being development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,
f. the federal regulatory system be designed to minimize health and environmental risks posed by pest control products and to encourage the development and implementation of Innovative, sustainable pest management strategies, for example by facilitating access to pest control products that pose lower risks, and encouraging the development and use of alternative, non-toxic, ecological pest control approaches, strategies and products,
23. a. In paragraph which I have marked 'a', "unacceptable" implies some risks due to poisons are acceptable to someone. I ask acceptable to whom? The stagger-increase in the number of victims of neurotoxic illnesses affecting ever younger people which were almost unheard of before the introduction of pesticides designed to do what chemical weapons of war were designed to do should have been a clear reason for legislators to address the question.
b. i. Are not those who might be exposed entitled to know what risks of harm of every pesticide contemplated and registered for use? And when suffer-injury as a result entitled to discovery of what they have been exposed to, the risks of harm, and treatment if there is any? If so I ask that those rights be honoured. I suffered what was life threatening pesticide poisoning twice, was denied access to information and was treated with contempt by both Federal and Provincial authorities, and the medical profession from whom I sought help. Imust conclude that was acceptable and continues to be acceptable to the Ministers.
ii. I ask that they respect the Charter in these matter irrespective of what paragraph a, states.
c. Addressing the paragraph which I marked 'b' in the Pre-Preamble,
i. What data has Health Canada and its Pest Control Regulatory Agency produced or have access to in which "through scientifically based national registration system that addresses risks to human life and the environment before and after registration"?
ii. Where is the data for pesticide exposures and adverse effects? For unsucessful attempts to get help? For acetylcholinesterase levels after exposure? For efforts to get help? For refusal to give help? Where are the medical or alleged medical records?
iii. Where are the correlations btween pesticide use and exposure and cancer rates, identifying each?
iv. Where are the correlations between the neuro-illnesses I refer to in *Attachment #1 amongst which are Alzheimer dementia, Parkinsons, motor neuropathies, autism, the illness referred to as multiple sclerosis even though no sclerosis of nerves occurs, elevated blood pressure, cardiac arrythmias, cardiac myopathy, all sorts of developmental disorders in children, and many more illnesses?
v. How can an alleged "scientifically based" registration system ignore the link between pesticide poisoning and illnesses consistent with the injuries produced by pesticide, growing at an alarming rate as has been the use of pesticide? What is scientific about the registration system?
Please produce the data and correlations to support the paragraph I marked 'b' if you have any. Those who might be and have been exposed have a right to know.
vi. What evidence do the Ministers of the Environment and Agriculture have that the chemicals and preparations thereof registered for pesticidal use do not have adverse effects on the environment?
Environmental researcher are alarmed by the rate of species disappearance linking many to pesticide use, the movement of pesticide and their degradation compounds some more toxic than the parent compounds horizontally and virtically through soils, waterways and the atmosphere. Canada has had its own environmental disasters amongst which were the wiping out of bird life and human illnesses after the spraying of New Brunswick forests with fenitrothion where the adverse effects were not looked for. Its spruce forests are disappearing, giant firs in danger and some cedars. How much is due to pesticide induced injury to upsetting biological balances and pesticide induced damage to their defence mechanisms no one knows. What is known is that these are 'after' not 'before' events. So too with fish kills. If the Minister of the Environment has no evidence that these disasters would have occured even if pesticides were not used, please stop registering them for use, mindful even if a direct link cannot be made bees on which much of food production depends are fast disappearing from North America and Europe.
24.My response to paragraph 'c' differs little to paragraph 'b'. I ask for some evidence of the truth of that statement.
d. Is not the paragraph I marked 'd' a presumption of of fact, or worse an attempt to instill confidence where there should be extreme caution. My experience which I describe in *attachment # 1 of this petition has been shattering. Where are the diagnostic services, the pesticide neurotoxicologist from whom to get help if help is possible, the warnings, the records, where is the Pest Management Regulatory Agency when injuries occur? To try divert the victims concerns is unconscionable. I ask that such conduct be stopped.
e. Referring to the paragraph I marked 'e' surely the concomitant increased pesticide use and neurotoxic illnesses, and the correlations which I made between obesity and obesity related diseases on the population of 37 nations *attached hereto, warrent the discouragement of growing oil crops for food, and biofuels. I ask that the registration of pesticides for such purposes be withdrawn immediately. The Neurenberg Court imposed a duty to monitor human rights violations in respect to the use of chemical agents of war. The pesticides referred to herein are designed to inflict similar or identical as the case may be to chemical warefare agents. The Neurenberg Court imposed a duty to monitor the use and injuries and death caused by the use of such chemicales on even people who can or try to defend themselves.
25.In the fourth *attachment of this petition. I express concern about the production of oil crops for food because of the irrefutable link between obesity and obesity related diseases and fat consumption, irrespective of the type of fat consumed. Albeit trans fats may precipitate the deposition of cholesterol in artery walls, and unsaturated fat are said to be safer not entirely supported by evidence, the caloric value of all fats is essentially the same, all require insulin for the removal of fats from the blood and transfer it into fat cells. Fats are not excreted in the urine or in the feces except in the latter case certain diseased states. After fats enter the blood, the body has to do something with them if it cannot transfer them into fat cells, which are copious in number and great in size in the obese requiring much insulin. The body does what it can do without the help of insulin, and that is convert the fats into cholesterol. Many believe that elevated blood pressure now very commonplace, afflicting even children, helps drive cholesterol into artery walls.
The neurotoxic pesticides not only cause spasms of skeletal muscles but cause constriction of muscles in artery walls thereby elevating blood pressure, in such cases which is probably most high blood pressure has to be regarded to be a neurotoxic illness.
In 1986 after suffering poisoning by what could only have been a delayed neurotoxin according to my responses from pesticide neurotoxicologists, my feet and legs were dead white for months, the blood vessels not dilating even after soaking in a tub of hot water. In March of 2006 when I sought help after becoming extremely ill following what I later learned was exposure to Weedex, my blood pressure was extremely elevated.
Some pesticide neurotoxicologist believe that it is the constriction of blood vessels which cause the irreversible neurological damage pesticides produce for nerves cannot escape injury for but a very short time deprived of oxygen, or glucose.
The usual treatment for high blood pressure is to take beta blockers which dilate artery walls and are not without risks, and to reduce blood volume by taking diuretics that remove water from tissues, too with dangerous side effects. These drugs rank high amongst the most profitable drugs for the drug companies and costly to the victims. Combined with elevating blood pressure, the neurotoxic pesticides are known to weaken blood vessel walls increasing the risks of strokes and aneurisms. Added to this is that Health Canada registers ADRENALIN S.C. for herbicidal use in the production of oil crops. Contrary to what the P.M.R.A. held when I requested information about the toxicology of ADRENALIN S.C, BASF, owner of its registration would not repond to my request for information abouts its toxicology. Adrenalin is a natural hormone which increases blood pressure in response to stress, especially to deal with, imminent danger.
I ask therefore,
a. If the Ministers of Health, of the Environment, of Agriculture have contrary evidence to my scientifically based claims in the preceding paragraphs, please disclose them.
b. and as now claimed, Pest Control Product Act 2002 c. 28 puts the burden on the holders of pesticide registration to prove that their products pose no risk of harm if used for purposes and way intended to disclose that proof in respect to elevation of blood pressure and the consequences thereof as the laws of toxic torts, both national and international demand.
c. Is not the incidence of obesity and obesity related diseases not high enough in Canada, and much of the world, that Canada does not need to grow oil crops with the aid of neurotoxic pesticides and carcinogens for food production? Is this not externalizing costs so the victims unbeknown to them are forced to pick up the costs even with their own lives? Is that not a grievous violation of human rights, If not explain why not and address the problem.
26. The preamble to the Pest Control Product Act 2002 c. 28 states, "AND WHEREAS Canada must be able to fulfil its international obligations in relation to pest management" At p. 32, "Regulations re NAFTA and WTO Agreement
I ask, (3) Without limiting the authority conferred by subsection (1) the Governer in Council may make any regulations that the Governer in Council deems necessary for the purpose of implimenting, in relation to pest control products, Article 1711 of the North American Free Trade Agreement or Article 39(3) of the Agreement on Free Trade related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights set out in Annex 1C to the WTO Agreement"
27. a. what are Canada's obligations under these agreements?
b. Do any conflict with the right of Canadians with their right to health and security of person? If so which in the opinion of the Minister of Justice do not do so? I have provided an enormous amount of evidence that it is safe to conclude that Canada's own pest control policies or/and the implementation of them is causing a staggering number or irreversible injuries and death.
c. Are any of the agreements less stringent than Canada's Pest Control Products Regulations and the implementation of them? IF so, which?
Article 6 of the UN International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights holds that human being have an absolute, unquestionable right to life even in times of emergencies. Article 12 of the U.N, International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which Canada presumably ratified, binds Canada to protect the right of its people to achieve the highest level of health attainable. Further it imposes the member states to assess the impact of claims made under Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. I ask of the Minister of Justice,
28. a. Have any claims been made under those agreements?
b. Is not much of Canada's Pest Control Products Act 2002 c. 28 in direct violation of the above cited Covenants, and was not the preceding Act also in violation of them? Do they not defy the laws of toxic torts. Please defend your answer if it is negative.
c. If not how do you explain the staggering increase and climbing at an alarming rate of neurological illnesses and death therefrom almost unheard of before the introduction of neurotoxic pesticides after World War II consistent with the neurochemical injuries and the accumulation of them caused by such pesticides?
d. Is what is happening in Canada in respect to the illness to which I refer and the cancer rates, some cancers known to be caused by pesticides which include skin cancers, again increasing at a rate that causes great concern, "the highest level of health obtainable" in Canada? If so, Why ?
e. that Sec. 5 – 7 be dileted, and the burden of showing that an offence has been committed resulting in loss to the registrant fall upon the registrant – that they be treated no different than ordinary citizens. It should fall upon the Courts to determine the loss which has a duty to consider all costs which the chemical companies 'externalize'. These sections smack of powerfull lobbying on the part of the pesticide companies. In the costs externalized are those picked up by the victims of poisoning, most often cumulative injuries until death occurs.
And further ask,
f. Is not "WHEREAS Canada must be able to fulfil its international obligations in relation to pest mangement" an attempt to rationalize doing what the Vienna Convention forbids? If your answer is negative, please explain what is the purpose of that paragraph.
g. What are those alledged international obligations? What must Canada do, or not do under them?
Transparency in the Act and its implementation is almost totally lacking, Strict secrecy is maintained even when I was to discover serious life largely irreversible injuries are reported to the Pest Control Management Agency and the Ministers under whose jurisdiction it falls. In fact so lacking that when I sought access to a toxicity study on phosmet, which was before the Court, I was visited in the very early hours of the morning by an R.C.M.P. officer. I describe in part how lacking in my petition for the review of 2,4-D, *attachment 1.
29.I ask of the Ministers of Health and of Justice, Why? Is it not in defiance of the Covenants referred to above, the Vienna Convention, Canada's own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the laws of toxic torts. If not, how not?
In Laurentide Motels v. Beauport  1 S.C.R. 705. the city was found liable for negligent execution of its policy decision for damages caused to the motels by fire started when a guest fell asleep while smoking, because of a failure to maintain its fire hydrants which were frozen and covered with snow, the Court held,
@ pp 474 – 748,
[F]rom the opinion of Mason J. at p. 26
When a statute sets up a public authority, the statute prescribes its functions so as to arm it with appropriate powers for the attainment of certain objects in the public interest. The authority is thereby given a capacity which it would otherwise lack, rather than a legal immunity in relation to what it does…In framing such a statute it is inconvenient to describe the intended activities of the authority in terms of positive duties. It is preferable to express those activities as functions or powers so that the authority is free to make policy-making decisions and discretionary judgements with a view of attaining the statutory objects… Viewed in this light statutory powers are not in general mere powers which the authority has a option to exercise or not according to its unfettered choice. They are powers conferred for the purpose of attaining statutory objects…There is, accordingly, no reason why a public authority should not be subject to a common law duty of care in appropriate circumstances.
In Just v. B.C.  1 C.C.L.T. (2d) Just's daughter was killed when a boulder rolled down an embarkment while he was driving down highway 99. The Department had "virtually absolute discretion as to wh n and where it worked". The Supreme Court of Canada by a majority of 6 to 1 reversed the decision of the lower court which held the Crown was immune from liability.
@ p. 2,
[I]f the decision is made to institute a system of inspection, that system must itself be (a) reasonable and (b) reasonably implimented, upon pain of liability in negligence.
[W]here the policy immunity is displaced and a duty of care inferred, the standard of care imposed on a govmental agency must reflect intelligently the relative enormity (or otherwise) the governmental function in question and the limited resources available to address it.
Once the decision had been made to institute a system of inspections of rocky slopes, the selection of modus operandi for doing so was essentially an operational exercise and as such the fitting object of a legal duty of care.
@ p. 16,
The duty of care should apply to a public authority unless there is a valid basis for its exclusion. A true policy decision undertaken by a government agency constitutes such a valid basis for exclusion. What constitutes a policy decision may vary infinitely and may be made at different levels, although usually at a high level…The decision in Anns v. Merton London Borough Council …and Kamloops v. Neilson… indicate that a government agency, in reaching a decision pertaining to inspection, must act in a reasonable manner, which constitutes a bona fide exercise of discretion. To do so, they must specifically consider whether to inspect, if so, the system of inspection must be reasonable in all circumstances.
Therefore in respect to the Pest Control Products Act 2002 c. 28, I ask,
a. Sec. 6(5) require that the chemical companies whose products are registered for pesticidal use be required to provide convenient pick up sites for pesticides and pesticide containers, that all pesticides be dated and disposed of within a given time, depending on the pesticide by the company whose product the pesticide was for people who purchase such control products are seldom informed of all the risks or harm or have access in an understandable form of the toxicology of such products, and have access to safe methods of disposal. While I am demanding that such chemical be removed off the market, I appreciate enormous quantities exist and time is required to put non-tortious legislation in place, and set up an enforcement system.
b. that section 44(1) be changed to read that the Minister must immediately on a 24 hour basis release confidential information to a medical professional dealing with suspected pesticide poisoning, the victims and persons attempting to give aid, including municipalities, and that the Pest Control Regulatory Agency must on a 24 hour basis be compelled to render assistance in diagnosing and treating people who have been exposed to pesticides, when poisoning is suspected immediately seize the pesticide to which exposure has occured, if known and retain that pesticide preparation in a safe place and in a manner that it will not change chemically. Id not known, that the agency be required to try determine what pesticides have been used in the area noting the climatic conditions at the time, and for some weeks thereafter.
c. that Section 2 be dileted. These are some of the most toxic chemical ever produced by man. Time is of extreme importance in stemming the now epidemic of neurotoxic illness and deaths, now ranking without doubt the most heinous crimes ever committed against mankind, and on the environmental health of the earth.
d. that financial records of the registrants of pesticide not be exempt from disclosure. Nothing seems to govern man's conduct more than the pursuit of limitless wealth
30. [Information withheld]. I ask too, that the conduct of the Chief Registrar and of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency be investigated by an independant judge familiar with the laws of toxic torts, and international laws in regard to the subject of this petition.
*[attachments not posted]
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Minister's Response: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
11 March 2009
Ms. Ann V. Kuczerpa
206–2100 Cadboro Bay Road
Victoria, British Columbia V8R 5G7
Dear Ms. Kuczerpa:
I am writing in response to Environmental Petition 268, which was sent on October 6, 2008, to Mr. Scott Vaughan, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. I appreciate being made aware of your concerns.
Due to the nature of the issues raised in the petition, a response to your query has been prepared by several departments. You will be receiving the full government response to your petition from my colleague, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s input will be included in this response.
Thank you for your interest in this matter.
[Original signed by Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board]
Gerry Ritz, PC, MP
c.c.: Mr. Scott Vaughan
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, PC, MP
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, PC, QC, MP
The Honourable Jim Prentice, PC, QC, MP
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Minister's Response: Environment Canada
10 March 2009
Ms. Ann V. Kuczerpa
206 – 2100 Cadboro Bay Road
Dear Ms. Kuczerpa:
I am writing in response to your Environmental Petition No. 268, to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, regarding the effects of pesticides on the environment and human health. The petition was received in Environment Canada on November 12, 2008.
In your petition you raise concerns about the neurotoxic effects of pesticides, the legal validity of the Pest Control Products Act,and the role and responsibilities of the Government of Canada with regards to pesticides regulation.
The departments of Environment, Agriculture and Agri-Food and Justice have collaborated with Health Canada to prepare the Government’s response. I have reviewed this response, which is being sent to you by the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and concur with its conclusions.
I appreciate your interest in this important matter.
[Original signed by Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment]
The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
c.c.: The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C. M.P.
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Minister's Response: Department of Justice Canada
5 March 2009
Ms. Ann V. Kuczerpa
206-2100 Cadboro Bay Road
Victoria, British Columbia V8R 5G7
Dear Ms. Kuczerpa:
I am writing in response to your petition to the Auditor General, identified as Environmental Petition No. 268, concerning the removal of neurotoxic pesticides that cause neurological injuries and death. I received a copy of your petition on November 12, 2008.
Due to the nature of the issues raised in the petition, Justice Canada has collaborated with the departments of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, and Health Canada to prepare the Government’s response. I have reviewed this response, which is being sent to you by the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and concur with its conclusions.
I appreciate this opportunity to respond to your petition and trust that you will find this information helpful.
[Original signed by Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada]
The Honourable Rob Nicholson
c.c.: The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Mr. Scott Vaughan, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development
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Joint Response: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada, Department of Justice Canada
5 March 2009
Ms. Ann V. Kuczerpa
206 – 2100 Cadboro Bay Road
Victoria, British Columbia V8R 5G7
Dear Ms. Kuczerpa:
This is in response to your environmental petition no. 268 of October 6, 2008, addressed to Mr. Scott Vaughan, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD).
In your petition you raised concerns about the neurotoxic effects of pesticides, the legal validity of the Pest Control Products Act and the role and responsibilities of the Government of Canada with regards to pesticides regulation.
The petition requested responses from the ministers of Health, Justice, Environment and Agriculture. I am pleased to provide you with the enclosed joint response. In order to avoid duplicate answers, the questions have been grouped by theme and are identified within their respective themes. Items 2, 14 and 26 in the petition did not contain a question and therefore no response has been provided.
I appreciate your interest in this important matter, and I hope that you will find this information useful.
[Original signed by Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health Canada]
c.c.: Mr. Scott Vaughan, CESD
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.
Government of Canada Response to
Environmental Petition No. 268 filed by Ann V. Kuczerpa
under Section 22 of the Auditor General Act
Received November 12, 2008
Petition asking for the removal of all neurotoxic pesticides that cause irreversible neurological injuries and death now having reached epidemic levels, compliance with national and international laws, Charters, Conventions and Declarations on Human Rights and related matters.
March 12, 2009
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Minister of Justice
Minister of Environment
Minister of Health
Health Canada, Justice, Environment Canada and Agriculture Canada’s Joint Response to Petition 268: Pesticide Regulation in Canada – Request to remove what the petitioner refers to as “neurotoxic pesticides” from the Canadian market.
Questions relating to legal opinions and legislative amendment requests
(Questions: 1d/e/h, 3a, 5a/b/ci/cii/ciii, 9,10, 11, 13a/b, 16 c/d, 20, 22, 23, 24d, 27 b/c, 28b/e/f, 29, 29a/b/c, and 30)
The petitioner raised a number of legal questions and requested Minister’s opinion regarding responsibilities related to toxic torts, fudiciary duties, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, human rights, duties to inform, violations of United Nations National Convenants and the Vienna Convention in relation to pesticide regulation in Canada.
These questions were seeking legal opinions. It is not appropriate for any Minister to provide private citizens with legal advice.
Legislative amendments and criminal investigations were also requested by the petitioner. It is not possible to entertain these requests through environmental petition processes.
Questions relating to the federal government’s roles with regards to pesticide regulation in Canada.
(Questions: 1g, 21c, 23 a/cv/cvii, 24)
The Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) administers the PCPA on behalf of the Minister of Health. The PCPA defines the health or environmental risk of a pesticide as being acceptable if there is reasonable certainty that no harm to human health, future generations or the environment will result from exposure to or the use of the product, taking into account its conditions or proposed conditions of registration. Therefore, pesticides posing an unacceptable risk and/or value are not registered or are removed from the Canadian market.
The PCPA mandate and primary objective found in Section 4(1) states: “In the administration of this Act, the Minister’s primary objective is to prevent unacceptable risks to people and the environment from the use of pest control products”.
Section 2(2) of the PCPA states: “For the purposes of this Act, the health or environmental risks of a pest control product are acceptable if there is reasonable certainty that no harm to human health, future generations or the environment will result from exposure to or use of the product, taking into account its conditions or proposed conditions of registration.”
And, Section 8(4) of the PCPA, related to Denial of Application states: “The Minister shall deny an application referred to in subsection 7 (1) if the Minister does not consider that the health or environmental risks of a pest control product are, or its value is, acceptable”.
The Minister of Health, under the authority of the PCPA may also, at any time, revoke a registration of a pesticide if new scientific evidence demonstrates that it poses an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
It is important to note that when Health Canada assesses the potential risks associated with a pesticide, consideration is given to the sensitivities of sub-populations, such as infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly. Additional margins of safety are applied to further reduce risks when exposure to these groups is expected.
Health Canada also assesses occupational and bystander exposure to pesticides. Exposure to a pesticide during application and to residues upon entry into a treated area is considered in this portion of the assessment. In instances where the exposure assessment indicated the need for protective measures, the interval of time a worker or bystander must wait before it is considered safe to enter an area is indicated on the product label.
PMRA was formed in 1995 through the amalgamation of scientific experts from 5 government departments (Agriculture, Environment Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resource and Department of Fisheries and Oceans). The scientific experts from each department were transferred to Health Canada, so that pesticide experts in their respective fields could contribute to the objective of protecting health and environment of Canadians with regards to pesticide regulation.
Approximately 70 percent of PMRA employees are scientists, including biologists, chemists, toxicologists, and a recently-hired epidemiologist. Of the 326 scientists, approximately 40 percent hold a Bachelor of Science, 40 percent hold a Masters degree, and 20 percent hold a Ph.D. The scientists include those with agricultural and environmental backgrounds, plant pathologists, weed scientists, and entomologists to determine the acceptability of value for all products.
PMRA also seeks technical advice from other government departments whenever it is needed. Other branches of Health Canada, Environment Canada and other Departments also conduct research to support the regulatory role of PMRA.
Question regarding what information is considered when evaluating a pesticide.
The PCPA requires that registered pesticides be acceptable for use and do not harm human health and the environment under their prescribed conditions of use. To do so, an extensive body of scientific evidence is analysed. For example, in order for one pesticide to be registered, the registrant is required to submit over 200 studies in three key areas: health, environment and value.
The PMRA database contains over 23 million pages of scientific data supporting the decision to register pesticides in Canada.
Health studies include toxicological and epimediological information, occupation and bystander exposure and dietary exposure studies. Environmental studies include environmental toxicology, chemistry and fate. Value studies include efficacy and sustainability studies.
The onus of proof lies with the registrant to submit all the required studies. These studies are conducted by independent laboratories with some studies conducted by registrants, and must follow internationally developed and validated test guidelines for study protocols that adhere to the principles of Good Laboratory Practice. This extensive data reporting allows Health Canada scientists to conduct independent analyses of the raw data.
During the re-evaluation of a product, published scientific literature is included to strengthen the review of the toxicological information obtained as a result of a database search and data call-in.
Within this theme, the petitioner raised concerns regarding neurotoxic effects and cancer risks related to pesticide use.
(Questions: 1f, 7a, 23ciii/civ, 28c)
Before a pesticide is registered in Canada, it must undergo a rigorous scientific assessment process to ensure a reasonable certainty that no harm, including chronic effects such as cancer and neurological damage will not occur when pesticides are used according to label directions
As part of the assessment, Health Canada evaluates pesticides for neurotoxic potential. Neurotoxicity studies in laboratory animals are designed to characterize the potential for a given pesticide to affect the structure and function of the nervous system in the adult as well as the young. These studies are designed to assess both single and multiple dose effects and are required for pesticides which have a neurotoxic mode of action. In addition, developmental neurotoxicity studies assess potential effects on the developing nervous system that may arise from exposure in utero and during early life.
In order to fully characterize the toxic potential of that compound, these studies are conducted at dose levels that are many times greater than the level to which humans would be exposed through normal use of the pesticide. The registration process ensures that the level to which humans are exposed is well below the amount that causes these effects in animals.
In addition, Health Canada led an initiative to develop the OECD Guidance Document for Neurotoxicity Testing that provides guidance on the strategies and methods for testing chemicals for neurotoxicity potential. The primary objective of this guidance is to ensure that necessary and sufficient data are obtained to enable adequate evaluation of the risk of neurotoxicity arising from exposure to a chemical. The document was published in 2004 and is available on the OECD website at: http://appli1.oecd.org/olis/2004doc.nsf/linkto/env-jm-mono(2004)25
Currently, relatively little is known about the causes of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). There is scientific interest in the possible role that exposures to environmental and occupational chemical hazards, may play in their disease development, of which pesticides is only one consideration. Studies conducted to date which have looked at the relationship between these diseases and pesticides have rarely looked at specific pesticides.
There is no information available about trends in new cases of Parkinson’s disease in Canada. Mortality rates for Parkinson’s disease have doubled in the past 25 years. However, in addition to a true increase in risk, this increase may also reflect more widespread and accurate testing. Exposure to pesticides has been suggested to be linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, with a recent U.S. review1 estimating that 8 percent of cases of Parkinson’s disease could be attributed to occupational exposure to insecticides, however, this is not conclusive.
Mortality rates for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) have increased by about 50 percent over the last 25 years. Current evidence regarding an association between pesticides and ALS is not conclusive.
Alzheimer's disease rates appear to be relatively constant. Evidence linking pesticides and Alzheimer's disease is limited and conflicting. A Canadian study2 of pesticides and Alzheimer's disease failed to note any association. However, a French study3 found an association between occupational (but not environmental) exposure to pesticides and Alzheimer's disease.
Again, it is important to note that these correlational studies provide no information on the causal relationship between exposure and disease at the individual level.
Overall, rates of new cancers in Canada are relatively stable. As well, there is no evidence to suggest that the amount of pesticide to which Canadians are exposed increases their risk of cancer. Melanoma skin cancer rates are increasing by about 1 percent per year. Although some studies suggest a link between pesticide exposure and melanoma skin cancer, no studies have shown a specific causal effect and most melanoma skin cancers are believed to be attributable to sun exposure.
Generally, pesticide use does not correlate well with cancer rates. One United States study4 looked at the correlation between cancer rates and pesticide use by county in California. Within this study, most sex- and ethnicity-specific groups showed no correlation between pesticide use and cancer incidence.
It is important to note that correlational studies provide no information on the causal relationship between exposure and disease at the individual level. The evidence it provides for a cause-effect relationship is relatively weak. Health Canada will continue to monitor the scientific literature and will take immediate regulatory action if there is strong evidence that exposure to a pesticide causes a health effect such as Parkinson’s or cancer, to minimize the risks of its occurrence.
Furthermore, under this theme, questions were posed regarding how information is shared with the public about the risks associated with pesticide use and the appropriate mitigation measures.
(Questions: 7 c/d, 8)
Pesticide use directions and precautions are dictated by the federal regulators at Health Canada when registering a pesticide for use. Product labels are legal documents, and the primary mechanisms to inform pesticide users of risks, precautions and acceptable uses of the product being used. Label directions can also, at anytime, be modified in order to provide additional protective measures to the users, bystanders or to the environment.
Risks associated with pesticides are identified during the scientific risk assessment, and protective measures are applied to mitigate these risks (e,g., use of personal protection equipment during application, or “Do not re-enter treated area for (time)”. Any risks or warnings associated with a pesticide are clearly identified on the pesticide label.
In an effort to ensure that all potential risks and other related aspects are considered, Health Canada first consults with Canadians on proposed decisions before making a final decision on any new active ingredients, major new uses, re-evaluations and special reviews. The PMRA began publishing registration decision documents as a matter of policy in the late 1980s. The PCPA codified this requirement to consult into law.
It is important to recognize consumer responsibilities when purchasing and using any regulated products. A pesticide label informs users of a product’s proper use and its potential hazards. The consumer is responsible for reading and following the label.
The Pest Control Products Regulations Section 26 (2) states: “Subject to subsection 8(2) of the Act, the secondary display panel of a registered pest control product must show all of the following information (…)”. Section 26 (2)(g) requires the following notice to users on pesticide labels: "NOTICE TO USER: This pest control product is to be used only in accordance with the directions on the label. It is an offence under the Pest Control Products Act to use this product in a way that is inconsistent with the directions on the label. The user assumes the risk to persons or property that arises from any such use of this product."
Health Canada also provides Canadians with information on how to remain safe and makes relevant information available on its website at: www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Additional questions relating to pesticide use training/certification, and more specifically, the responsibility of advance warnings were asked under this theme.
(Questions: 7 c/d)
Pesticide applicators and vendors, with few exceptions, must be certified in order to apply or sell pesticides in Canada. Certification programs are the responsibility of the provincial and territorial governments and are based on the Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada. Pesticide applicators and vendors must pass an approved examination to become certified, with recertification required every 5 years. The purpose of recertification is to maintain or upgrade the vendor/applicator’s knowledge regarding pesticides.
Within the Professionalism concept of the Applicator Basic Knowledge Requirements, of the Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada, information is provided on notifying neighbours/bystanders prior to applications taking place. Such practices are encouraged and may be required, depending on the provincial legislation.
As explained earlier, requirements for advanced warnings are also identified on the label which is the legal document, and the primary mechanisms to inform pesticide users of risks, precautions and acceptable uses of the product being used.
Lastly, under this theme, concerns were raised regarding post-registration controls of regulated pesticides.
(Questions: 5 ciii, 15)
The basis on which products are evaluated and registration decisions are made evolve over time. As more refined information and scientific methodologies become available for use it is to be expected that they will have an impact on the decisions that result. The fact that a past decision is changed or reversed over time does not mean that the decision was wrong and unsupportable at that time.
Health Canada has a number of post-registration controls in place to help ensure the continued health and safety of Canadians.
Health Canada re-evaluates older pesticides on a 15-year cycle to ensure older pesticides meet current strict standards. As noted above, the PCPA mandates that a registration be subject to a special review when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the risks or value may no longer be acceptable.
As a matter of policy, in 1999, the PMRA began its first re-evaluation program reassessing all products that had been registered prior to January 1, 1995 to ensure they met modern health and safety standards. As of December 31, 2008, the Program has re-evaluated 313 older pesticides, resulting in:
97 discontinuations/de-registration by registrants
10 phase-outs requested as a result of the PMRA review
189 continued registrations with label changes
17 continued registrations with no label changes
Section 17(1) of the PCPA states: The Minister shall initiate a special review of the registration of a pest control product if the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the health or environmental risks of the product are, or its value is, unacceptable.
Sections 17 (4,5) of the PCPA states that any person may request a special review of the registration of a pest control product and the Minister shall decide whether to initiate a special review. The purpose of a special review would be to verify the continued acceptability of the pesticide active ingredient.
It may be noted that if in the course of a re-evaluation or special review there are reasonable grounds to believe that the registration should be amended or cancelled pending completion of the process, the Minister is authorized to do so under subsection 20(1) of the PCPA.
Furthermore, Section 35(1) of the PCPA states: Any person may file with the Minister, in the form and manner directed by the Minister, a notice of objection to a decision referred to in paragraph 28 (1)(a) or (b) within 60 days after the decision statement referred to in subsection 28(5) is made public.
The scientific basis for the objection must include evidence and an explanation on how the evidence raises scientifically founded doubt as to the validity of the evaluations on which the decision was based.
However, if the active ingredient in question is already undergoing re-evaluation, which we understand to be the basis of your question, the initiation of a special review for the said active ingredient in addition to the re-evaluation is not necessary as the scope of the re-evaluation would include those of the special review. Any new scientific evidence submitted with the special review request would be then taken into consideration during the re-evaluation. Upon completion of the re-evaluation, the proposed decision is published on the Health Canada website for public consultation before the regulatory decision is finalized.
Health Canada also runs an Incident Reporting Program. Although all pesticides are carefully evaluated for safety before they can be registered, it is possible that an adverse effect may not become evident until the pesticide is used under "real-life" circumstances. This is one reason why the PMRA has put in place an Incident Reporting Program.
Since April 2007, pesticide companies are legally obligated to report any adverse effects of their products to the PMRA. Anyone who believes they have been adversely affected by a pesticide can either call the company directly who, in turn, must report the incident to the PMRA or individuals can contact the PMRA directly at 1-800-267-6315.
All complete pesticide incident reports are entered in the PMRA Incident Reporting database, and are posted to the Health Canada PMRA electronic Public Registry available on its website at: www.hc-sc.gc.ca . Personal information protected under the Privacy Act (e.g. name, age, gender, etc.) is not included in the Public Registry.
The PMRA database is regularly searched for any type of pattern related to a specific pesticide. If the result of a search indicates that there is a trend, such as repeated effects or multiple incidents for a particular pesticide, Health Canada evaluates the information in conjunction with a review of scientific literature. If evaluation of this information identifies a safety issue, appropriate action is taken. Such action can range from minor label changes to discontinuation of the product.
Furthermore, the PMRA has a compliance and enforcement program with 10 regional offices across Canada. This program consists of promotion and compliance verification with the PCPA and Regulations through investigations, inspections and consultations. PMRA regional compliance investigators have the mandate to investigate the use, sale and importation of pesticides; perform on-site inspection of usage and storage of products; do soil, crop and product sampling; and educate individuals, local officials and grower groups as to regulatory requirements. Where contraventions of the Act or regulations occur, appropriate enforcement measures may be taken.
The Minister of Health, under the authority of the PCPA may also, at any time, revoke a registration of a pesticide if new scientific evidence demonstrates that it poses an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
Questions relating to pesticide exposure including: what individuals should do if exposed and where lies the responsibility to diagnose, treat and provide follow-up care.
(Questions: 1b/c, 23cii, 24d)
Being exposed to a given pesticide does not automatically mean an adverse effect will occur. The toxicity, amount and duration of exposure to a particular product must be considered. Note that when used according to label directions, no adverse effects to human health or the environment are expected. However, if a person suspects that they have been overexposed to a pesticide or any other chemical and require emergency medical care, all pesticide labels instruct users to call 911 and for medical assistance to contact the local Poison Control Centre.
Poison Control Centers fall under provincial authority, and in most provinces/ territories are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They provide the general public with access to health care advisors who are specially trained to help identify symptoms and treatment. Additional information is available on the Canadian Association of Poison Control Centres website.
Medical personnel are trained to diagnose and treat poisonings from overexposures to a variety of chemical substances. The role of the federal government is to provide a federal program for pre-market and post-market risk assessment of pesticides, and to provide label instructions that include what to do in the event of accidental poisonings.
The Health Canada website also states the following: “If you require emergency medical care, call 911. For medical assistance, contact your local Poison Control Center.”
Other options include contacting your regional office to report possible compliance concerns with regards to pesticide use. An investigation would determine if violation of the PCPA has occurred, and follow-up action would be taken, if warranted.
The Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada, the Standard to which provincial/territorial certification programs for applicators and vendors is based on, provides information regarding potential pesticide poisoning.
This information includes how to recognize and steps to take in poisoning situations. As such, individuals subject to provincial certification programs, do receive information to reduce the potential for poisoning situations and how to recognize and know how to react, should they find themselves or someone else in a poisoning situation.
Lastly, as previously indicated, anyone who believes they have been adversely affected by a pesticide can either call the company directly who, in turn, must report the incident to the PMRA. Individuals can contact the PMRA directly at 1-800-267-6315.
Question regarding the truth of the statement: Poison Control Centres are open 24 hours a day” in the Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 1989 and 1993. (Question 1a)
The Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 1989 and 1993 was prepared by the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Agriculture Canada.
It is standard practice to confirm facts and statements when publishing government publications. Due to the lengthy time span that has lapsed since its publication, the Government of Canada is not able to identify who confirmed the statement referred to by the petitioner: “Poison Control Centres are open 24 hours a day. They give first aid information and treatments for poisoning”.
Poison Control Centers fall under provincial authority, and in most provinces/ territories are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Under this theme, concerns were raised regarding the risks associated with pesticide exposure as a result of treatments on crops used for the production of biofuels and on oil crops (used for the production of foods that lead to obesity).
(Questions: 21b, 25c)
With regards to biofuels, risk assessments of fuels containing 10 percent ethanol were completed by various international organizations, such as the California Environmental Protection Agency. It was concluded that ethanol fuels have no substantial impacts on human health when compared to conventional gasoline. In May 2003, an expert panel meeting organized by Health Canada concluded fuel containing 10 percent ethanol is unlikely to represent any added benefits or risk, but additional research would be required to confirm this. Health Canada has undertaken a detailed human health risk assessment of the use of ethanol in Canadian gasoline. This document is currently being reviewed by experts and will subsequently be finalized and published. Health Canada will continue to monitor and assess health risks associated with new biofuels and additives.
One of Health Canada’s Food Guide’s recommendations is that Canadians should consume between 4 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Pesticides play an important role in maintaining Canada’s food supply by protecting food and feed crops from pests, weeds and disease. A nutritious and balanced diet is one of the best ways to protect and promote good health.
Insofar as food consumption is concerned, the only aspect of the matter that is within the mandate of the PCPA is the food safety related to the residue of the pesticide on or in the food to which the product is applied. The Act requires that that matter be evaluated in relation to health risks and that maximum residue limits (MRLs) be specified at levels designed to prevent the risks from being unacceptable.
Questions relating to the requirements for transparency and disclosure of risk
(Questions: 6, 7b)
The federal government provides Canadians with all available information on known risks and mitigation measures of registered pesticides. Pesticide product labels act as the primary source of information and are legally binding documents that must be abided by the user.
In an effort to ensure that all potential risks and other related aspects are considered, the PMRA first consults with Canadians on proposed regulatory decisions before making a final decision on any new active ingredients, major new uses, re-evaluations and special reviews. The PMRA began publishing registration decision documents as a matter of policy in the late 1980s.
The PCPA, brought into force in June 2006, codified into law many transparency initiatives, including the requirement to consult on proposed regulatory decisions, and to publish final decisions. These decision documents outline all of the information reviewed and considered by PMRA, identifies issues and risks associated with the product, and explains how PMRA reached its decision, including any mitigation measures needed to reduce risks to health and the environment.
The PCPA requires that the PMRA provide the public with a Public Registry to include information on registered products, applications to register or amend the registration of a product, re-evaluations of active ingredients, special reviews, authorizations to use unregistered products, and re-consideration of major registration decisions.
The PCPA also provides the public with the opportunity to inspect the confidential test data supporting major regulatory decisions made since June 28, 2006. The inspection of test data applies to data supporting registration decisions made under the new Act.
Furthermore, the public has the opportunity to object to major regulatory decision, within 60 days of the decision. The objection must be based on sound scientific evidence. A major registration decision includes granting or denying an application to register a new active ingredient, or to register or amend a major new use; and, decisions to maintain, amend or cancel registrations following re-evaluation or special review.
These transparency provisions enable the PMRA to provide the public with an abundance of information that was not available previously.
Within this theme, the petition raised concerns regarding access to Confidential Business Information such as pesticide industry financial records.
While Health Canada collects sales data for all pesticides sold in Canada, the financial details of the sales are confidential under the Access to Information Act in addition to the PCPA Section 44 and may not be disclosed.
Within this theme, the petition inquired about not being able to access a Union Caribe study entitled: “TEMIK (technical Grade Compound 21149 Demyelination Potential in Chickens”.
The PMRA, responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada, was unable to find documentation in regards to your information request in 1988-1989. Without further details, it is difficult for the government of Canada to respond to a specific information request which occurred twenty years ago.
In general, any confidential test data submitted to Agriculture Canada in support of pesticide registration at that time was protected as confidential business information (proprietary data) under the Access to Information Act. The federal government would not have had the legal authority to share the data with anyone without the direct written permission from the data owner.
The petitioner claims that “The owners of the study did not object to the release of the study to me”. If that statement is correct she did not have to request that the Minister provide it since she could have obtained it from the owner. The petitioner may have meant that the “author’ of the study did not object to its release to her. However, the author would not have had the authority to release a confidential study conducted for Union Carbide. Again, this is difficult to confirm as this event occurred twenty years ago.
Questions regarding the validity of the Pest Control Products Act, including international obligations and United Nations claims.
(Questions 3b, 4, 12a/b, 13c, 27a, 28a/g)
The Pest Control Products Act was introduced as Bill C-53 on March 21, 2002, by the Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Health. Consequently, as a government bill, it was reviewed under section 4.1 of the Department of Justice Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. J-2, for any inconsistencies with the purposes and provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Similarly, any regulations made under the Act were reviewed under section 3 of the Statutory Instruments Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-22, for any inconsistencies with the purposes and provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights.
All Government of Canada Acts and regulations undergo a regulatory impact analysis and consultation before they are brought into force. Proposed bills follow the federal legislative process (http://www.parl.gc.ca/compendium/web-content/c_g_legislativeprocess-e.htm) which includes a clause-by-clause consideration stage in Committee (e.g., the Standing Committee on Health) with witnesses interviewed. Regulations follow the federal regulatory process (http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ri-qr/processguideprocessus-eng.asp) which includes conducting a regulatory impact analysis and pre-publishing it for comment.
In developing and maintaining Acts and regulations, the Government is committed to protecting and advancing the public interest by working with Canadians and other governments to ensure that its activities result in the greatest overall benefit to current and future generations of Canadians (see the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulations at http://www.regulation.gc.ca/directive/directive-eng.pdf). To this end, the Government assesses the potential impact of all proposed legislation on health, safety, security, the environment, and the social and economic well-being of Canadians; the cost or savings to government, business, or Canadians and the potential impact on the Canadian economy and its international competitiveness; the potential impact on other federal departments and agencies, other governments in Canada, or on Canada's foreign affairs; and the degree of interest, contention, and support among affected parties and Canadians.
The evaluation of Acts and regulations is done on an ongoing basis and can include further consultation and review by parliamentary committees so as to ensure they continue to meet the needs of Canadians. The PCPA provides for a parliamentary review to be undertaken every seven (7) years and a report on the review to be generated.
It is important to note that the new PCPA reflects to a large extent the recommendations of the Pesticide Review Board which involved stakeholders from a wide variety of sectors including health and environmental professionals.
Furthermore any harmonization of policies between Canada and the United States in relation to the regulation of pesticides is only possible to the extent that the laws of the two countries permit. Those policies cannot conflict with the laws of either country.
Article 1711 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Article 39(3) of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) require the Canadian government to provide certain protection to data used in regulatory filings to obtain approval to use new chemicals. Canadian Pesticide Regulations are made in compliance with these obligations.
Pursuant to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,individuals who have exhausted all available domestic remedies may file a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee alleging that Canada has violated its obligations under the Covenant. Canada has not received a complaint respecting pesticide use and related health concerns.
While Canada is a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, it is not a party to the new individual complaint mechanism and, thus, no complaints have been received respecting alleged violations of this Covenant.
Canada’s international obligations in relation to pest management arise under such international instruments as the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Convention (PIC Convention) and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Convention (POPS Convention) of which Canada is a party. Those Conventions require the parties to take various actions in relation to registered pesticides. The PCPA provides the authority that is required to carry out such obligations. Section 27 authorizes the Governor in Council to cancel or amend the registration of a pest control product or class of pest control products if the Governor in Council considers it necessary to do so to implement an international agreement. Section 35 authorizes the Governor in Council to establish a Pest Control Products Export List to regulate or prohibit the export of products that meet prescribed criteria. That authority can be used, for example, to meet Canada’s obligations under the PIC Convention under which member countries can decide that they do not want to import certain prescribed pesticides or that they will receive such pesticides only under certain stated conditions.
Questions in the petition raised concerns with regards monitoring of exposure to pesticides following registration.
(Questions: 12c, 25a)
Environment Canada’s mandate covers the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment. This includes water, air and soil; flora and fauna; and renewable resources such as our lakes, forests and oceans. Environment Canada also help to protect our species at risk, including migratory birds.
Environment Canada currently carries out many pesticide-related activities including research and monitoring of the presence, fate and effects of pest control products in the environment. The results of these activities are shared with the PMRA. Environment Canada continuously work with the PMRA to promote alternative pest management strategies, to provide sound scientific information for use in its risk assessments, and to encourage the responsible use of pesticides.
On December 8, 2006, the Prime Minister, along with the Ministers of the Environment and Health, unveiled the Government of Canada's Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). This plan takes immediate action to regulate chemicals that are harmful to human health or the environment. A key element in the CMP is the collection of information on the properties and uses of approximately 200 chemical substances which were identified as high priorities for action. This information will be used to make decisions regarding the best approach to protect Canadians and their environment from risks these substances might pose.
Furthermore, as part of the CMP, Health Canada is implementing two major biomonitoring initiatives to track Canadians’ exposures to chemical substances. The substances being assessed in both studies include organophosphate pesticides, organochlorine compounds, pyrethroid pesticides, and phenoxy herbicides.
In partnership with Statistics Canada, Health Canada is overseeing the biomonitoring component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), in which the levels of over 90 different environmental chemicals are being assessed in the blood and urine of Canadians ages 6 to 79 years. Sampling for the current cycle of the survey is currently underway and is expected to be finished in March 2009. Additional information on CHMS can be found at: http://www.chemicalsubstanceschimiques.gc.ca/news-nouvelles/CHMS_e.html .
Full CHMS biomonitoring results are expected later in 2010.
The Maternal Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study focuses its biomonitoring activities on pregnant women and their babies. It aims to measure the extent to which pregnant women and their babies are exposed to environmental chemicals and to assess what pregnancy health risks may be associated with exposure to heavy metals. Additional information on MIREC can be found at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/contaminants/mirec/
These two biomonitoring initiatives will enable Health Canada to determine to what extent Canadians are exposed to a broad range of environmental chemicals, including the above-mentioned pesticides, and will provide baseline data to track trends and allow for comparisons with sub-populations in Canada and with other countries. The results will also help inform the development of future research efforts so that they can better focus on the link between exposure and health, as well as provide information to guide action by governments.
Questions relating to the status of active ingredients found in pesticides
(Questions: 16 a/b, 17a/b/c/d/e, 18, 19)
The re-evaluation of azinphos-methyl, completed in March 2004, concluded that all uses were to be phased out in light of risks to workers. Phase-out date for uses for which alternatives exist was December 31, 2005.
The phase-out date for remaining uses is December 31, 2012. In setting up the longer phase-out schedule for these uses, the PMRA acknowledges that growers face significant challenges in transitioning from azinphos-methyl to safer alternatives. In the interim, a stewardship program was implemented to manage the identified risk. PMRA is monitoring compliance with the program. PMRA has also begun work to facilitate the development of a transition strategy for the phase out of azinphos-methyl. This process will address challenges encountered by growers as they move toward alternative pest control methods.
Demeton-o is not a registered pesticide in Canada. Two products containing the active ingredient demeton-o were discontinued in 1990, at the request of the registrant (or pesticide manufacturer).
When Oxydemeton-methyl was subject to re-evaluation under the PCPA, the registrant no longer supported its use in Canada. All uses of oxydemeton-methyl were discontinued, and the expiry date for the last registered product was December 31, 2001.
Disulfoton was also subject to re-evaluation in Canada. The registrant did not support its continued registration, therefore all uses of disulfoton were discontinued. The expiry date of the last registered product was July 1, 2006.
PMRA conducted a full health and environmental risk assessment of phorate, and published its decision document in 2004. All uses of phorate, except potatoes, were discontinued due to environmental concerns. The risks were found to be acceptable for use on potatoes until a transition strategy for the phase-out of phorate for use on potatoes is determined. Continued registration of phorate for use on potatoes is acceptable until August 1, 2012 due to a lack of available alternatives for control of wireworm on potatoes, with interim measures to protect workers (engineering controls and Personal Protective Equipment) and the environment.
PMRA has also begun work to facilitate the development of a transition strategy for the phase out of phorate. This process will address challenges encountered by growers as they move toward alternative pest control methods.
Endosulfan was recently subject to re-evaluation under the PCPA and a preliminary risk assessment was published for consultation. The results of the preliminary exposure risk assessment indicate a level of concern for some workers, for dietary exposure, and the environment.
PMRA is currently finalizing the endosulfan risk assessment and expects to publish a proposed decision in 2009. Regulatory action will be taken if appropriate.
With regards to its use on tomatoes, endosulfan was regulated in Canada based on the Canadian context, (for example, climate conditions and dietary habits). Label directions are a result of the risk assessment. If treatment is required on tomatoes, it must be done according to label directions. It is possible to have to treat a product 2 days prior to harvest.
Methamidophos for use as an insecticide was re-evaluated and the preliminary assessment was published for public consultation on September 4, 2007. The preliminary assessments identified risks to the environment, to workers both during application and during re-entry activities as well as to the general population through drinking water exposure. These assessments support a phase-out from the Canadian market of methamidophos and all associated uses (such as on broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, head lettuce, potato and canola).
Based on the available information, there is little reported use of products containing methamidophos in Canada, and viable alternatives are registered for these uses. During this consultation, the PMRA requested refined information on the occupational, dietary (water) and environmental assessments and/or mitigated risks. In addition, information on the value of the product, eg: how much is being used, was also requested.
The PMRA is currently reviewing the information received during the public consultation and is preparing a final re-evaluation decision to be published in 2009.
The active ingredient aldicarb, is no longer registered in Canada. Aldicarb was subject to re-evaluation under the PCPA, and the registrant no longer supported its registration in Canada, therefore the product registration was discontinued in 1996.
The petitioner raised concerns regarding a product with the trade name Adrenalin S.C.
(Question 25 a/b)
Please note that the pesticide ADRENALIN® SC Herbicide, contains two pesticide active ingredients: imazamox and 2,4-D. Contrary to what the product trade name implies, this product does not contain the hormone adrenalin. The label for this product is on the Health Canada website.
The petitioner raised concerns regarding previous government responses to the petitioner’s inquiries via different correspondences routes. “…I suffered what was life threatening pesticide poisoning twice, was denied access to information and was treated with contempt by both Federal and Provincial authorities, and the medical profession from whom I sought help.”
(Questions: 6, 16a/b, 23bi/bii)
In the attachments provided with the petition, the two poisoning scenarios are: in 1986, neurotoxic effects were experienced as a result of a large consumption of green bell peppers and fresh cherries and again in 1996, following a lawn treatment on the petitioner’s apartment building property.
Based on federal records, the Government of Canada responded to the multiple requests for information from the petitioner. The Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the Government of Canada feels that it has appropriately and competently responded to information requests from the petitioner over the last 20 years.
The petitioner requests that what she refers to as “neurotoxic pesticides” be removed from the Canadian market.
(Question 21a, 24e)
Canada runs a strong pesticide regulatory system which encompasses pre- and post-market scientific assessments and a number of post-registration controls to ensure the health and safety of Canadians is protected.
As explained above, the scientific risk-assessment process considers neurotoxic potentials of pesticides prior to allowing them for sale and use on the Canadian market. The registration process ensures that the level to which humans are exposed is acceptable.
The PMRA will continue to monitor scientific evidence and foreign reviews of OECD member countries. There are various mechanisms where new scientific evidence could arise such as part of a special review, a data call-in to initiate a re-evaluation, a data search conducted by the PMRA, or an objection to a regulatory decision. PMRA will consider any new scientific evidence such as proprietary data, published scientific information and results of foreign reviews that comes to light: either submitted by another OECD country, registrants, scientists or members of the public.
Health Canada believes it is good practice to reduce or eliminate any unnecessary use of pesticides, and as such encourages Canadians to seek opportunities to minimize their exposure to, and reduce their reliance on pesticides. When pesticides are necessary, users are encouraged to use lower-risk products. In doing so, pest control benefits are maximized, while health and environmental risks are minimized. The PCPA directs the Minister to facilitate access to lower risk products and authorizes the expediting of evaluations of such products for registration.
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